Afghanistan vs South Africa: Preview, pitch report and TV listing
Afghanistan are all set to take on South Africa in the match number 21 of the ICC World Cup 2019 at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Saturday. This is a clash between the teams who are placed at the bottom of the table, as they are in the hunt of their opening win. Let us analyze things further in this match preview.
Afghanistan drubbed by New Zealand, South Africa yet to win
South Africa are coming off a washed out tie against Windies, while Afghanistan lost their last match to New Zealand. Afghanistan lost against Kiwis by seven wickets, while the fragility of their batting line-up was on display. On the other hand, South Africa too have many issues and they would use this game as an opportunity to bounce back. Proteas enter as favorites.
Hashmatullah Shahidi, Chris Morris among players to make impact
Considering the players who could make an impact, Proteas would be wary of Hashmatullah Shahidi, who was good with the bat in the last game, while pacer Aftab Alam too could dictate the proceedings. For SA, Chris Morris would be important, while pacer Kagiso Rabada is their best bet. Further, it would be interesting to see if veteran Imran Tahir can spin a web.
Afghans clash against Proteas for the first time in ODIs
Talking about the head-to-head records between the sides, the data-sheet is empty, as they haven't played an ODI till now. This would be their first official ODI clash and would be interesting to see who draws first blood.
A sporty wicket could await teams at Cardiff
As for the pitch at Cardiff, it has seen three games. While the opening two matches saw moderate totals being scored, the last match was a high-scoring one, before rain played spoilsport. Thus, chances are the pitch could behave either way, and the teams are likely to move in with a balanced side. However, there is a 90% chance of rain, again.
Here's the predicted XI for both the sides
Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib (captain), Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Ali Khil (wicket-keeper), Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan. South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Faf du Plessis (captain), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Beuran Hendricks.
When, where and how to watch?
Match: Afghanistan vs South Africa Venue: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff Time: 6:00 PM IST Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1, Select 1 and other regional languages channels of Star Sports. Where to watch (Online): Hotstar